by Pat Rock

If you don’t know that, you don’t know where the finish line is…

Some months back, I heard about a person in my breed passing around critical comments about a fellow breeder; one of those “How could he/she breed to that dog?”—you know the kind of criticism.

The dog game is full of it (and I do mean the double entendre). What do people get out of these kinds of put downs? Do they get some kind of superior feeling? It comes across to me as insecurity, if you can only feel good about yourself when you can “diss” someone else.

Do people realize that behavior like that is a most unattractive character trait? None of us is perfect and we all at times make unkind comments which, on reflection, we would rather not have said, but some folks seem to go out of their way to portray others in a negative light.

Ever find yourself thinking

“I’d better watch what I say around her/him; my words might get twisted and passed on as malicious gossip” ? And so you keep your distance from that person and lose a chance for some worthwhile interaction with someone who also has a passion for your breed. Sad, isn’t it? There are so few of us. And poisonous behavior does nothing to encourage people to become exhibitors, and more importantly, breeders.

There will always be dog shows, but without breeders, Lakeland Terriers could become extinct. We have an absolute need to communicate with one another, and share information so we can make the best breeding decisions. Social media has made communication internationally as well as across the U.S. both possible and instantaneous, and is mostly a good thing as long as people remain civil, which thankfully seems to be the case in our breed.

Think back to when you got your start in dog shows and breeding. Did you stay because you overcame the discouragement of others or because you met nice people who were helpful and encouraging? I suspect the latter, although the former might have been more numerous.

We’ve all heard the quotes “Nice guys finish last.” (Leo Durocher) “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” (Red Saunders originally, most often Vince Lombardi). Vince Lombardi later said “I wish I’d never said that thing…I meant the effort.

I meant having a goal. I didn’t mean for people to crush human values and morality.” My favorite quote about winning and losing is from the late Garry Shandling “Nice guys finish first. If you don’t know that, you don’t know where the finish line is.”